Yes, I thought, gazing at the fontina-stuffed turkey burger with red pepper aioli on focaccia bread in front of me, I do like this job.
This particular thought came to me as I sat at Divine Swine, a restaurant newly opened in Modesto’s Roseburg Square.
Divine Swine occupies a spot on the end of the strip of shops most recently occupied by Tidewater Station and, before that, Appétez.
Owner Robert Wilson is a longtime competitive barbecuer and caterer who wanted to open his own restaurant. It’s a family affair – the black bean salad available as a side dish is his wife’s recipe, and the cornbread that comes with the pulled pork salad is a recipe from Wilson’s grandmother.
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And all of it is really good.
Since a soft opening two weeks ago, business has been brisk, Wilson said. “The neighborhood has really rallied around us and showed us the love,” he said. Friday nights have been the busiest, with the only major complaint about the speed of service – still a work in progress as the 38 employees get used to their tasks.
Wilson described the menu as “pub food, but with a bit of sensation to it.” The best-seller so far has been the brisket sandwich, but Wilson said he is probably proudest of the pulled pork, a recipe he has perfected over his years of barbecuing. And for someone looking to try something different, he suggested the turkey burger. That’s how it ended up on my plate.
I have made my share of dry, tasteless turkey burgers. This was nothing like that, though the cheese and aioli probably made it somewhat less healthy than a typical turkey burger. I also tried the pulled pork sandwich and salad, which was topped with onion strings.
Good stuff, and with the patio just off the Virginia Corridor bike trail, you can get out there and work off at least part of your meal.
Divine Swine, 825 W. Roseburg Ave., is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Call 209-596-4649 or find the restaurant on Facebook.
Elsewhere around the Business Beat:
A job fair aimed at veterans, but also open to the general public, is planned in downtown Modesto on Thursday.
Sponsored by Heavy Equipment College of California and Stanislaus County Veterans Employment Committee, the fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the Heavy Equipment College campus, 409 12th St. According to a news release, two blocks will be closed “to provide booth space for more than 30 technical and manufacturing companies with a strong track record of hiring veterans, as well as schools and staffing agencies committed to helping veterans learn new, marketable job skills.”
The fair also will include services such as résumé critiquing, job interview tips, training information and job search assistance, and more. Organizers urge job-seekers to bring their résumés.
And finally, in last Wednesday’s column, I got the address for the job fair at Dust Bowl brewing in Turlock wrong. It’s 3000 Fulkerth Road, not 2000, spokeswoman Michelle Peterson told me in an email. “That’s probably the field (near the new brewery), so they’d be close if they got that far!” she said. The Dust Bowl job fair started Tuesday and continues from 8 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.